14 Myths & Stereotypes About Lesbians That Need To Be Dispelled

The lesbian community are stereotyped each day and it is vital that we dispel the myths that surround them in order to create a better society in which lesbians feel able to express themselves. Stereotypes dehumanise members of their community and are totally unnecessary as making a judgement about a whole group of people based on the way some of them act is wrong.
Yes, some lesbians may conform to stereotypes but it is their choice how they choose to identify. There is no issue with stereotypes being used playfully and safely within the lesbian community, however, not all lesbians are vegan, hippy, man hating, sexually abused, feminist cat lovers. Stereotyping lesbians can be harmful and, whilst it may seem like a joke to you, it can actually do a lot of damage, especially if that person has already faced a long battle with figuring out their sexuality. Don't use stereotypes and be sure to call people out if they use them to. It's good to put people in their place when they're saying potentially hurtful things and a little education has never hurt anyone, right? So, let's address some of the misconceptions society tends to have about lesbians so we can break down barriers and move one step closer to living in a stereotype free world.

1) In every lesbian relationship, there's always a 'man' and a 'woman'
A lesbian couple can never be heteronormative, no matter how well they fit your masculine/feminine dichotomy or how butch or feminine they are. No matter how much you insist that one is the 'man' and one is the 'woman,' they will both always be the women. That's what makes them lesbians. Because lesbians like women.

2) Lesbians hate men
I'm not sure how the term 'lesbian' became synonomous with 'man hater' but, alas, here we are. There's a common misconception that lesbians are lesbians because they hate men and whilst some might hate men, for the most part, lesbians like men and, if they find a man that they want to be friends with, they'll befriend him. Just because someone isn't attracted so a particular gender, doesn't mean they despise that gender entirely.

3) Lesbians were sexually abused as children
There's a stereotype that gay men's lives were void of a father figure growing up and there's a misconception that lesbians were abuse by male members of their family as youngsters, which is what caused them to be lesbians. A woman's sexual preference has nothing to do with what happened to her as a child. Just in the way that all straight women don't have a broken relationship with their mothers, not all lesbian women were abused by their fathers.

4) If you're a lesbian, you've never been in a loving relationship with a man
Just because a woman is in a loving relationship with another woman, that doesn't mean she hasn't been romantically involved with a man in the past. It's difficult to convince people otherwise, but it's true. Sexuality is fluid and a woman is allowed to identify however she chooses, whether that is bisexual, lesbian, pansexual, heterosexual...lesbians can be in relationships with men for years before they come to terms with the fact that they aren't sexually attracted to them anymore, and that's okay! It's normal.

5) Being with a someone who is the same gender as you makes being a lesbian easier than being straight
Where on earth did people pluck this one out from? Apparently, dating another woman is just like dating your best friend and everything is all hunky dorky 24/7, but that's wrong. Whilst lesbian relationships are great, they, like any relationship, come with inevitable obstacles, bumps in the road, arguments, rough patches, deception, lies and God knows what else. Just because it's between two women, doesn't make a relationship any easier. There's a stereotype that this is the case because "women understand each other more" but, honestly, no relationship is plain sailing, regardless of who is involved.

6) Lesbians fall fast and don't cheat
The likelihood of someone falling in love with another person quickly and the likelihood of them cheating doesn't depend on their gender, as anyone can fall fast and anyone can cheat. Promiscuity occurs in both heterosexual relationships and same sex relationships, would you believe! Stop perpetuating the idea that women are clingy, obsessive people. And some straight couples also get very committed very quickly, just like lesbians do!

7) "It's just a phase!"
Erm, can we just skip this one? Surely everyone is bored of hearing it by now and only becomes vexed every time it's said? Sexuality is fluid but to tell someone how they feel is just a 'phase' is offensive, especially if that person has spent years of their life trying to figure out how the hell they feel. You wouldn't tell a straight person that being hetereosexual is "just a phase" so don't say it to anyone else. It's rude.

8) Butch lesbians want to be men
Well, no...because they're women?

9) Lesbians have a crush on all of their straight friends
It's probably flattering for straight women to assume their lesbian friends all have a crush on them but, chances are, they don't. A lesbian woman isn't attracted to every female she encounters, just as a straight woman isn't attracted to every straight guy she looks at. Lesbians can be friends with non-lesbians, no problem!

10) Lesbians can't have 'proper sex'
Lesbian sex is just as real and proper as straight sex. Okay, next.

11) Lesbians identify as lesbians
It's important to remember that not all lesbians will identify as a 'lesbian.' Just because someone is in a same sex relationship, doesn't mean they aren't attracted to other genders, just like bisexuals aren't any less of a bisexual if they're in a relatonship with a member of the opposite sex. A 'lesbian' may actually be bisexual or pansexual or something else entirely. Also, not all lesbians feel comfortable with that name. Some prefer 'queer,' some just like 'gay' so make sure you're sure you're referring to someone using the correct label before you use it.

12) All lesbians know each other
There's a false perception of the lesbian community that says all lesbians know each other, which makes me question people's intelligence sometimes. There a quite a lot of lesbians in the world so I'm not entirely sure how they are all supposed to be BFFs with one another. The lesbian community is bigger than you think. It'd be great if they all knew each other, but they don't, just like lesbians don't know everything about lesbianism - everyone's just figuring things out as they go along!

13) All lesbians love cats and are carefree, hippy vegans
Some lesbians may tick all of the above boxes but the majority don't. In fact, some hate cats. I know, shocker, right?

14) All lesbians are feminists
Whilst it would be great if all lesbians were feminists, well, it would be great if everyone full stop was a feminist, but, sadly, they aren't. I can see how this came about, what with the 'fem' in feminist but, honestly, anyone can be a feminist and we should all be feminists because feminism simply means equality.

What stereotypes about lesbians do you think we need to dispel? <3

Love, Emily :) xx

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